Thanks to collusion between the calendar corporations and reality, I had to buy a new wall calendar this week. Thanks a lot, orbit of the earth around the sun.
Among the array of calendars available at my local over-the-counter drug store was, unsurprisingly, a Canucks calendar. It’s pretty nice too, full of photos by Jeff Vinnick, easily one of the best photographers in the NHL.
One problem: five of the 13 players in the calendar are no longer on the Canucks. That’s a bit of a problem for a 2016 Canucks calendar.
Heck, even some of the current Canucks in the calendar may not be around for long.
It's important to note that this isn't the official Canucks calendar. As the Canucks were quick to point out, this is a licensed product, produced by a third party. They're not connected to it and have no say in the development process. "Our official team calendar (available at Pharmasave) has all the correct roster players, as well as profiles on young players in our system," said Chris Brumwell, the Canucks' VP of Communications and Community Partnerships. "Plus, all proceeds from the team calendar sales go to the Canucks for Kids Fund."
This 16-month calendar kicks off with Radim Vrbata for September, October, November, and December. The winger is currently on the Canucks, but he’s also a pending free agent and could end up traded by the upcoming February 29th trade deadline. But at least he’s in the calendar representing months for which he’s already been a Canuck.
January is Henrik Sedin—great choice to go with the captain to kick off the year—then Alex Edler for February. So far, so good.
But March? March is freaking Shawn Matthias. Shawn Matthias!
Matthias officially left the Canucks organization way back on July 1st, 2015, when he became an unrestricted free agent, but it was clear well before then that the Canucks weren’t going to bring him back. That makes choosing him for a 2016 Canucks calendar questionable.
April’s no better. It’s Eddie Lack. Basically, if you want feel bad about what could have been for an entire month, this is the calendar for you. Lack was traded on June 27th. I understand this calendar starts in September and had to be designed and printed in advance, but surely you could have pushed through a change to Jacob Markstrom or something after the trade, right?
May gets back on track with Jannik Hansen, but June goes off the rails again. Remember when the Canucks traded Zack Kassian to the Montreal Canadiens on July 1st? The calendar makers missed that entirely.
July? Brad Richardson. Left as a free agent on July 1st.
August is Chris Higgins, who’s still a Canuck, for now. He’s signed through next season, but you can certainly imagine him getting traded before August. But I'll give the calendar this one.
September, though? That’s Kevin Bieksa. Come on, guys. Traded on June 30th. By September it will have been 15 months since he was a Canuck.
Thankfully, the calendar finishes off 2016 with three current Canucks. October is Alexandre Burrows and December is Daniel Sedin, but November is Dan Hamhuis, who is a pending free agent. There’s little to no chance that Hamhuis will still be a Canuck by November, 2016.
Clearly this calendar had to go to print before the end of June. That’s five former Canucks on the 2016 Canucks calendar—Matthias, Lack, Kassian, Richardson, and Bieksa—with all five leaving June 27th or later. It’s hard to blame them for not seeing the future, but they could at least try to read the writing on the wall.
That said, it could have been worse. At least they dodged a bullet by leaving Nick Bonino out. He didn’t get traded until July 28th.
Really, the issue is with who is missing from the calendar. No Bo Horvat? How do Shawn Matthias and Brad Richardson get the calendar treatment and not Horvat?
No Ryan Miller, either, making the presence of Lack particularly interesting. Whoever made this calendar seemed pretty confident Miller would get dealt, leaving Lack as the number one goaltender.
And finally, no Chris Tanev, despite playing on the top pairing with Edler all last season, establishing himself as one of the best defensive defencemen in the league.
I couldn't resist: I bought it immediately.